Kentico Xperience, an award-winning digital experience platform that combines content management, digital marketing and commerce, summarizes in its whitepaper, Omnichannel marketing for customer-driven interactions, the challenges companies are facing when determining the most effective ways to connect to customers for omnichannel marketing and selling.
According to the expert, digital marketing and marketing automation technologies are needed, as well as digital experience platforms that are rich in content management and commerce capabilities to keep up with omnichannel and customer demands.
Not to mention that collecting customer data from multiple sources and channels, and performing then advanced analytics, require sophisticated software for continuous processing. To no surprise, mobile devices are rapidly becoming a core platform for technologies that connect customers across many channels.
Besides all that, omnichannel marketing calls for robust cybersecurity measures to protect vital customer data and to earn customer trust, the whitepaper states, and provides the following tips:
- Focus on what it takes to deliver harmonized omnichannel experiences. Companies must invest in and develop new organizational structures, marketing initiatives, business processes, roles for their employees, and technology infrastructure, and in ways that will allow for fluid movement between channels, reflecting how customers want to interact.
- Integrate strategies from the top down. For omnichannel marketing to work, upper management must approach it with customer focused business strategies. Then, related strategies are developed for marketing and sales, customer service and support, product creation, and all other customer facing functions. All marketing efforts must be integrated, including digital marketing, content marketing, mobile, and in store experiences.
- Omnichannel marketing means omnichannel commerce. Omnichannel marketing doesn’t succeed if there isn’t an omnichannel commerce approach partnered with it. Omnichannel becomes a business model for the companies that adopt it.
- Your colleagues are very important. And that means all people, not just marketing teams. Omnichannel includes all customer facing functions. For these people to do their jobs with a strong focus on the customer, they need to understand the strategic vision for harmonized omnichannel experiences, and they need all the right tools to make it happen.
- Start small. Initiating an omnichannel approach can be overwhelming. Limit first efforts to a couple of channels to develop and master the creation of consistent, personalized interactions and communications that appeal to customers.
- One-size-fits-all doesn’t work. Omnichannel marketing demands uniformly orchestrated personalization for each customer on every channel. Appropriately personalized interactions require a constant awareness of customer circumstances and behavior – nothing stays the same very long in an omnichannel world.
- Harmonized channels. For each customer, channels should offer the same look and feel to add consistency to experiences. Communications with customers at all levels must clearly convey the same information for items such as pricing, product information, shipping, as well as brand identity.
- Purpose-driven design is key for effective channel experiences. Often customers use different channels or devices for different purposes. Smartphones are frequently used for quick access to “simpler” information, while tablets or laptops may be the devices of choice for more complex activities and content. Design well for harmonized customer experiences, but also design for the specific channel or device.
- Develop content that addresses customer use cases and behaviors. Create messaging and content that reflect the nature of a particular channel combined with customer activity on that channel - as well as on other channels. Make sure plenty of information is available to customers, with the right fit for each channel. There must be an integrated approach to provide unified content for customer interactions from channel to channel.
- Thoroughly understand target markets and customers. This includes discovering which channels matter the most to each customer to be able to concentrate on creating personalized interactions on those channels. Through integrated channels, more thorough and wider reaching data collection and analytics are possible to apply lessons learned from mistakes and successes. Beyond continuous data analytics, it’s critical to test, measure, and implement improvements to all aspects of omnichannel marketing. This requires patience and perseverance.
Kentico Xperience provides not only good advice, but advanced capabilities backed by market leading support and a global network of implementation partners. Available on-premises or in the cloud, Kentico Xperience is an easy-to-use solution that provides personalized experiences and integrates seamlessly into any technology stack.